Progressives rescinding endorsement of NC congressional candidate over AIPAC donations
The Progressive Caucus of the North Carolina Democratic Party is revoking its endorsement of a U.S. House candidate due to donations she accepted from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
In a statement on Sunday, the caucus said it will no longer support North Carolina state Sen. Valerie Foushee in her bid for the House because she accepted donations from AIPAC, which has endorsed Republican candidates who objected to the certification of the 2020 presidential election results.
The caucus said it contacted Foushee’s campaign and encouraged the candidate to reject AIPAC’s support, but the candidate refused, saying the campaign’s commitment to the group is strong and unyielding.
As a result, the caucus said it is pulling its support.
“We stand by our progressive American values of democracy and human rights for all. AIPAC’s support of insurrectionists and Senator Foushee’s strong embrace of AIPAC runs contrary to our values,” the group wrote in a statement.
“Because of the actions of AIPAC and Senator Foushee’s refusal to reject their support, the Progressive Caucus leadership voted and overwhelmingly decided to withdraw our support of Senator Foushee’s candidacy for Congress,” the group added.
The caucus said it came to its decision despite Foushee having a “sterling reputation and years of service.”
“No American candidate should be accepting funds from an organization that provides financial support for those seeking to destroy our democracy,” the group wrote, calling AIPAC “a single-issue organization that sees nothing wrong with supporting insurrectionists in the US as long as those insurrectionists continue to align their Congressional votes with AIPAC goals.”
AIPAC came under scrutiny in March, according to The Times of Israel, when its new political action committee released an initial 120 endorsements for congressional races — 37 of whom were Republicans who objected to certifying the 2020 presidential election results.
AIPAC defended its endorsements, writing that the pro-Israel movement should not “become selective about its friends,” according to The Times of Israel.
The Progressive Caucus said AIPAC “made significant donations” to Foushee’s campaign, with the funds making up more than half of the campaign’s entire quarterly fundraising.
AIPAC appears multiple times on the Foushee campaign’s April 2022 quarterly filing.
AIPAC spokesperson Marshall Wittmann told The Hill in a statement on Monday that the group’s “active participation in the democratic process will not be deterred by ideological groups with highly partisan agendas.”
“We are a bipartisan organization exclusively focused on advancing the US-Israel relationship and support candidates from both parties who are committed to that goal,” he added.
Wittmann also reiterated AIPAC’s support for Foushee.
“Our activists proudly support Valerie Foushee – a progressive Democrat – who solidly supports the US-Israel relationship in stark contrast to her opponent. It is entirely consistent with progressive values to stand with our democratic ally, Israel,” he wrote.
Foushee is running to represent North Carolina’s 4th Congressional District in the House. Rep. David Price (D), who currently holds the seat, will not seek reelection this year.
Former “American Idol” star Clay Aiken and Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam — the first Muslim-American woman ever elected to public office in the Tar Heel State — are also running for the Democratic nomination.
The Foushee campaign touted the state senator’s background and track record in a statement to The Hill on Monday, noting that she will “unify, not divide” in Washington.
“Senator Foushee is a woman of deep faith and moral character, as anyone who knows her will attest. Her 25 years of elected service to her community speaks to her deep commitment to progressive values like voting rights, women’s rights, healthcare, education, and climate action,” the campaign said.
“She has a track record of delivering for her constituents and the insinuation that she could be bought by any interest group or donor is outrageous and offensive. Senator Foushee is going to Washington to unify, not divide, as she has always done,” the campaign added.
Updated at 11:55 a.m.
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